New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - In the first month of 2015 swine flu claimed the lives of 191 people in India. In the same period, 2,038 people contracted the H1N1 virus.
The State of Telangana reported the highest number, with 629 patients and 34 deaths. India's capital Delhi follows with 488 cases and 5 deaths. The figures come from the central government, which has not yet declared a state of emergency.
H1N1 flu is a virus that originated in an animal influenza virus. It spreads from person to person, like an ordinary seasonal flu, through contamination from sneezing or contact with contaminated hands and surfaces.
Symptoms include high fever, headaches, muscle aches and joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, pharyngitis, sore throat and cough.
The Medical and Health Directorate (MHD) set up control rooms to monitor the outbreak and phone lines reserved for patients. It has also drawn an 11-point protocol to follow to treat swine flu and stop it from spreading.
Screening and medical supplies in hospitals have also been boosted. Medical staff received protective gear and isolation wards have been set up.
The central government has stressed the need for mass awareness campaigns to prevent further outbreaks.
Others areas affected include Gujarat, with 309 cases and 38 deaths. In Rajasthan, 205 cases were recorded with 49 deaths. In Maharashtra, there were 73 cases and 22 deaths. In Tamil Nadu, out of 93 cases there were only 7 deaths.
In 2012, swine flu infected 5,044 people, with 405 deaths. In 2013, the outbreak was even more violent, with 5,253 cases and 699 deaths. In 2014, the number of infections dropped drastically to 937 cases and 238 deaths.